Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Angels & Demons: The Path Of Illuminati Illuminated

"Religion is flawed because man is flawed"--Angels and Demons

"Angels & Demons". Is it better than the book? No, not better but equally enjoyable. However, as with any book turned movie, expect some major omissions and changes in this second adaptation of one of Dan Brown's best selling novels. There's plenty of suspense, action, and high drama so visually there's a great story but you may feel a bit rushed as the characters traverse Rome trying to stop a mysterious killer and locate a bomb planted within the Vatican walls at the same time in a just a few hours.

Reprising his role from "DaVinci Code", Tom Hanks returns as Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon, in "Angels & Demons". Ron Howard also returns as the director and co-producer. The cast is an international mix of great talent which gives you an idea of the full global reach of this story of opposing truths.

"Angels & Demons" opens with the Vatican burying the pope and trying to decide who will become the next leader of the Catholic church. As the religious elite go about their religious rites and ceremony, four cardinals are kidnapped and a bomb is placed somewhere inside the Vatican. It can be seen on security cameras, but not easily located by police.

Taking blame for the kidnapping and promise of a catastrophic explosion is the Illuminati, a centuries-old enemy of the Catholic church. Throughout history the Illuminati was a secret society of free thinking men that openly challenged the church's authority. So of course, the religious powers that be then attempted to rid the world of Illuminati by any means necessary, driving the brotherhood underground literally and figuratively. And now the descendants of the secret fraternity want revenge.

In explosive times like these the Catholoc church needs a historically savvy savior. Enter Professor Robert Langdon. In order to decipher the Illuminati codes and conduct, Langdon is flown to Rome where he meets Vatican police and scientist Vittoria Vetra. She co-created the anti-matter that is within the bomb.

Sidebar: Though the book explains how this anti-matter could finally end the war of thought concerning creation between science and religion, the film doesn't fully explain it's relevance. Referring to it as a bomb keeps the story simple and a little less controversial. So if you're stuck on Adam & Eve as your explanation of how we came to be, your religious beliefs are not challenged. Leave your holy water at home. You won't be needing it to douse the movie screen. Now back to the story.

Langdon and Vetra only have fours to locate the highly explosive anti-matter before it eliminates the Vatican and surrounding areas. So again, there is a sense of urgency in the film. But many of the clues that help locate the Path of Illuminati are rushed through. Names of artists and scientist you haven't heard since World Civ. and Art History 101 come at you quickly as Langdon attempts to explain Illuminati clues that only he can understand.

That said, do you need to read the book before seeing the movie? Personally, it did help me as I watched the screening. Yet, if you see the film first I think you'll still have an enjoyable movie experience. Overall, it's a universal good versus evil story filled with lots of twists and turns. But who's really on team evil? That my friends you'll have to see the film or read the book to find out. And there's no better time than the present. "Angels & Demons" opens TODAY.

Want more insight into the making of the film visit the film's website at

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